Cluttering is a speech disorder associated with a person’s clarity and fluency. It is distinguished by a rapid or irregular speaking rate, too many pauses and other symptoms such as language errors and attention deficiencies. If your child is diagnosed with cluttering, it is important to teach him some ways to overcome this disorder.
There is no “ definite solution” for this, but with the use of proper strategies, children suffering from cluttering can make other people understand what they mean.The very step before anything else is to ensure that your child knows about his/her cluttering himself/herself. After making them aware that it’s difficult to understand their speech, they can then use the learned strategies to communicate better.
Cluttering Strategy -1: Normal Pitch
Those who clutter, often speak with a pitch that is too high, too low, or too up and too down. It is necessary to find the “EXACTLY RIGHT” pitch for your voice. Regularly practice speaking sentences in very high and then very low pitch. Once that is done, use a normal pitch and say them again. While doing this, notice how your voice and throat feels when you use a normal pitch and how it sounds like. This will surely help you remember that when exactly you’re using a pitch that’s too high or too low. Being able to come back to this normal pitch helps the listener to understand you better.
Note:- Practice the normal pitch method at home for 20-30 days and observe a change in your pitch. Once the normal pitch is attained, it is easy to overcome cluttering as a whole. Remember to take continuous feedback from an adult family member/relative, so make a goal and work on for better fluency.
Cluttering Strategy -2: Slow Speech
People who clutter, often speak very fast and at an irregular rate ( i.e. keep on adding breaks), making it hard for the listener to understand. In cases like these, the slow speech strategy can be effective. While using this technique, an individual is required to talk at an extremely slow rate and not speed up at any given point. Compensate an additional strategy with this that keeps on reminding you to practice slow speed regularly. All of this help in developing natural pauses or gathering a rhythm and further helping the listener understand what they are trying to say.
Note:- Regularly read sentences or paragraphs from a newspaper or textbook using the slow speech strategy. Take notice of how it feels when you speak like way and how it sounds. Read in the same way to a family member as well take their feedback on how you sound.
Cluttering Strategy -3: Over-Articulation
In some cases when people clutter, they tend to leave out some sounds or break them all together. If someone is having trouble understanding you, it is important to try to overemphasize on every sound so that you know they are all there. Articulation exercises help you gain better control over your tongue. Practice reading from a book while using over-articulation. This is known as over-articulation. In this method, it is effective when you exaggerate each sound you say to the extent that it starts sounding a little silly to you. This will help your listener understand what you are saying.
Note:- Put it into your daily routine to read sentences or paragraphs from books, magazines or newspapers while using over-articulation. Think about how it feels when you speak like this and how it sounds. Do this under the supervision of an adult family member and take note of their feedback.